Copper Thieves Suspected in Home Explosion in Madison County

WORDEN, Ill. (KMOX) — Investigators say they might never know exactly what touched off an explosion that leveled a Madison County farmhouse, but they suspect copper thieves could be to blame.

(House Explodes in Madison County Leaving Behind Huge Debris Field)

Nobody was hurt in the blast about 1 a.m. Thursday near Worden, about 45 miles northeast of St. Louis.

Prairietown Fire Chief John Gusewelle says copper pipes outside and inside the home on the 57-acre property had been cut out. But he says the damage has left it impossible to determine the exact cause of the explosion.

Neighbor Joel Bradler says he has been doing renovations for the property’s owner and that when he was there Wednesday he didn’t notice an odor of leaking gas or anything else unusual.

The home’s previous occupants both died in 2011.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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